We’ve all been there. You’ve been driving along just fine and suddenly a red light pops up your car’s dashboard. It might not tell you what’s wrong, but it’s a very clear red flag that something’s not right and you should probably get to a mechanic, pronto! It’s much the same with your skin. When you experience “red lights” in the form of unexpected inflammatory skin conditions like of acne or eczema, they’re not just a lone condition to get looked at. They’re also symptoms that something else in your body is off-kilter. This is why it’s always a good idea to chat with a doctor who can treat your skin condition as well as get to the bottom of what’s caused it.
Cause and effect
At Health Renewal, all our doctors are experts in skincare as well as integrative medicine, meaning they treat your body holistically. If you’re presented with a seemingly out of the blue skin issue, it’s often caused by another. This is why we make a point of finding out the root cause for your flare-up. Usually, once the initial condition has been treated, the secondary one affecting your skin will clear up fast.
To give you an example, if you’ve got oily skin, you’ll be prone to acne and might struggle with it on and off all your life. However, if you’ve got a dry skin type, have never really been spot prone and now found you’re regularly breaking out, you can consider this a massive red light. In this case, we’d run a series of tests to figure out the possible cause that could include a hormonal imbalance, a reaction to a new medication or a food allergy that’s causing inflammation throughout your body. One of the first places we’d look, however, would be your gut.
The gut connection
Medical science has proven a clear association between gut health and inflammatory skin conditions. In fact, research has shown that small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is 10 times more prevalent in people with inflammatory skin conditions. Unfortunately, modern lifestyles tend to contribute towards a struggling digestive system, meaning the majority of us will experience some form of tummy trouble.
When it comes to acne, the skin-gut connection is very clear as numerous gastric conditions such as low stomach acid, dysbiosis (an overgrowth of bad bacteria) and leaky gut can have a knock-on effect that shows up on your skin. They all cause inflammation that affects every organ of your body, including your skin, and this creates the perfect playground for the acne-causing bacteria to breed. Once we’ve brought back the balance to your gut, you’ll find your skin no longer needs to flash that red light.
Treating from the inside-out
Another common gut-related skin condition we successfully treat is eczema and psoriasis. Many people think that these conditions are a reaction to something external, like an allergy to a harsh soap. While topical irritants can most certainly make these conditions worse, don’t underestimate how your gut health can contribute.
To explain, studies have shown that gut inflammation, as well as stress, can impair your skin’s barrier function. This leads to a decrease in your skin’s production of antimicrobial peptides and an increase in inflammation. In short, it’s the perfect storm for an inflammatory skin condition flare-up!
The type of flora you have in your gut also has a major influence on your skin. For example, people with eczema typically have a higher level of Substance P, a neuropeptide found in your gut, than those who don’t suffer from the skin condition. This is why you can treat eczema topically with medicated creams, but you’ll get the best results from an inside-out approach that includes helping your gut by taking a probiotic.
The bottom line
Many skin conditions are merely a symptom of a larger problem and, more often than not, it’s something to do with your gut. If you’ve been struggling with acne, eczema or any other inflammatory skin condition, don’t attempt to beat it alone with topicals. Consider it a ‘red light’ that’s telling you it’s time to make an appointment to see one of the highly-skilled doctors at Health Renewal.
They’ll be able to examine you fully, get a clear picture of your health and identify the underlying health condition that’s affecting your skin. With the right treatment, both inside and out, we can put you on the path to wellness so you can enjoy healthy, glowing skin.
This post was sponsored by Skin Renewal.